Current Headlines

Is it the shield law's time?

A long-debated federal "shield" law to protect journalists who refuse to reveal their confidential sources is poised to move a little closer to passage Thursday. The Senate Judiciary Committee plans a mark-up session with the shield law at the top of the agenda, a committee source told The Washington Times. Secrecy Report Card

On Tuesday, September 9, released the  2009 Secrecy Report Card. This years report chronicles slight decreases in secrecy across a wide spectrum of indicators in the last year of the Bush-Cheney Administration, after five years of continued expansion. For this year only, the report includes two special sections: one on fiscal transparency and one providing a quick look at the Obama Administration's openness promising policies and, in some instances, discouraging practice.

Newsrooms not fighting for open government as much anymore

Adam Liptak of the New York Times talks about how open government fights, once left to media to fight, are often left dying on the vine, or left to public interest groups.

Laptop Searches

Reporters Committee reports: The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's controversial practice of randomly searching laptops upon U.S. entry quietly began last year but has quickly drawn attention, including a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed this week by the American Civil Liberties Union for records related to the practice.

Souter's papers

The New Hampshire Historical Society announced that retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter is donating his personal and professional papers to the society. But, Souter has placed an extraordinarily long restriction on public access to his papers, barring anyone -- researchers, historians, friends, journalists -- from viewing the material for 50 years. That's a lengthier seal than any justice has placed on papers in recent memory.

Hamilton articles & editorials

A defiant Del. Phillip A. Hamilton, R-Newport News, says he has no intention of resigning, as five statewide office-seekers have urged. "Their collective opinions have not lessened my resolve to continue serving the people of the 93rd District," he said in a statement.

What about Del. Phil Hamilton?

Delegate Phil Hamilton, R-Newport News, finds himself in hot water because he inquired about getting a job at ODU's new teaching center and then went on to secure funding for it. For a sampling of recent articles and editorials, click here. (Updated 8/28/09)

Local government online best practices

Bacon's Rebellion: Previously in our series on online government transparency we've taken a look at the minimum steps local governments should adhere to in keeping their citizens informed. In this installment we are looking at what the best local governments nationwide are doing to improve online transparency.

Supreme Court's anonymous juror proposal

The Virginia Supreme Court is proposing rules to curtail access to juror names and information. Read more here, on VCOG's blog.


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